JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Personal trainer and fitness expert Ryan McGriff never thought he would be training all women.
“I worked with college football players. I've worked with NFL players,” McGriff said. “I've worked with Orlando Magic a few times, a few basketball players there as well, one-on-one training in the off-seasons.”
But that all changed eight years ago when McGriff’s mother, JoAnn, died at the age of 51.
“My mom had heart issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, so not a really active lifestyle,” McGriff said. “Didn't eat really healthy at all. So I wanted to make sure that I could help as many women out as possible.”
McGriff said a few days after his mother’s funeral, he was inspired to start training all women and dedicate the business to his mom.
That’s how Springfield’s first all-women’s fitness facility, set to open in mid-February, got its start. McGriff, along with his wife, Chrystina, are the business owners behind NS2 Fitness Training and Springfield Nutrition, a health bar that will offer healthy nutrition plans, meal replacement shakes, meal prep and more.
The fitness center will be located at 1501 N. Main St.
“So we’ll have a nice sitting area, some TVs going on, just we want them to feel at home,” McGriff said. “To maybe come in, put their feet up, they can come here and do work, schoolwork, they can come have business meetings here. So it will feel a little more like a Starbucks type of feeling.”
That’s one half of the business. The other half will be a space devoted to getting women into shape.
“And then the other part of the building, the other side, we're going to have obviously the personal training with all of our clientele, which we do HIIT training, boot camp-style training, boxing, core training, cardio, you name it, we do it,” McGriff said.
The idea is for the fitness center to be a one-stop-shop for nutrition, meal prepping and fitness all under one roof.
The business is setting up shop in Historic Springfield, a location that McGriff said is special because he’s returning to his roots.
“I grew up on the Eastside of Jacksonville, maybe 10 minutes, maybe five minutes from here,” McGriff said. “I can walk to my house from where we’re standing right now. So to see myself now married with two boys, and now owning three businesses is pretty phenomenal, to come back to where my roots were and to give back to our community and where we were from. So it’s pretty cool to see my sons now here, being able to witness this.”
McGriff said he’s happy to be a part of the revitalization of the Springfield area.
He also said it’s an opportunity to serve as a role model to his sons and other young Black men in the community as the entrepreneur of a Black-owned business.
“I was born with two strikes. I'm Black and a man, male. And so to know that I only have one more strike. And I have to do whatever I can to make an impact on myself and the world,” McGriff said. “But I also don't have an excuse. Because I don't have to be a statistic, I don't have to be any of those things that the world portrays it to be. So it's pretty cool to be able to beat the odds and be that young male that can be a role model.”
McGriff said the business will be the “first of many” locations. Eventually, he said he wants to be able to franchise his business to female entrepreneurs.
“And I know my mom would be proud of that,” McGriff said.
The company is currently working on building an app for members. In the meantime, you would like to enroll, you can message NS2 Fitness Training on Facebook.
Watch the full interview with McGriff below.